Edgar Bennett out as Packers' offensive coordinator, could return as WR coach

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Edgar Bennett will no longer serve as Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator.

GREEN BAY - Coach Mike McCarthy will start his offseason searching for coordinators on both sides of the ball, not just a new leader for the Green Bay Packers' defense.

Edgar Bennett has been removed from the Packers' offensive coordinator position, a source told the Journal Sentinel. Bennett, whose tenure on the Packers' coaching staff predates McCarthy, has been the team's offensive coordinator since before the 2015 season.

The Packers also will be without quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt, whose contract expired at season's end, a source told PackersNews. Van Pelt is expected to pursue an offensive coordinator position outside Green Bay.

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Bennett remains under contract and his future is uncertain. He could stay on the coaching staff as a receivers coach, but it's unclear whether he has been given the position. Luke Getsy, who has been the Packers' receivers coach the past two seasons, is expected to be named Mississippi State's new offensive coordinator.

In an interview on 620-WTMJ in Milwaukee, McCarthy did not rule out Bennett and Van Pelt returning to his staff.

"Edgar's situation is still fluid. We're still in communication there," McCarthy said. "Alex Van Pelt was more a personal choice from a contractual standpoint. He desired to be a free agent after this season, so this is really a product of last year's negotiation. He wants to look at other opportunities."

Bennett has experience coaching multiple offensive positions for the Packers, most recently wide receivers from 2011-14. A former Packers running back, Bennett also coached the position he played from 2005-10.

As offensive coordinator, Bennett effectively served as McCarthy's top offensive assistant. The Packers' offense belongs to their head coach. It is McCarthy's system, and he is the playcaller.

Regardless, it has been a place where McCarthy places his most trusted assistants in the past. 

Indianapolis Colts assistant head coach/offensive line Joe Philbin worked as the Packers' offensive coordinator from 2007-11, and perhaps could be a candidate to replace Bennett if the Colts purge their staff after coach Chuck Pagano's firing earlier this week. Another potential replacement could be Ben McAdoo, the former New York Giants coach fired late in the 2017 season. McAdoo was tight ends coach under McCarthy from 2006-11, and quarterbacks coach in '12 and '13.

Van Pelt, originally hired in 2012, was the Packers' running backs coach in his first two seasons. He replaced McAdoo as the team's quarterbacks coach following 2013, and has worked with that position ever since. In 2015, the Packers expanded Van Pelt's role to include wide receivers, but he returned to focusing exclusively on the quarterback position after that season.

After coaching multiple positions, as well as having the nice resume piece of being Aaron Rodgers' position coach for five seasons, Van Pelt could get serious offensive coordinator interest around the league. Teams have asked permission to interview Van Pelt for coordinator positions in the past, including the then-St. Louis Rams after the 2014 season. McCarthy does not allow his assistants to interview for coordinator positions with other teams, hence the need for Van Pelt to allow his contract to expire.

The Packers also announced three changes to McCarthy’s defensive staff that were already widely reported: the firings of defensive coordinator Dom Capers, defensive line coach Mike Trgovac and inside linebackers coach Scott McCurley.

Aaron Nagler of USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin contributed.


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